Phoenix Police Pull-Over Driverless Waymo For ‘Freaking Out’ & Driving Into Oncoming Traffic

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Phoenix Police bodycam footage, published online by AZCentral, captures the moment when an officer pulls over a Waymo autonomous Jaguar I-Pace SUV that had recklessly veered into oncoming traffic on a busy Phoenix street.

AZCentral said the incident occurred on June 19. Phoenix police pulled over the driverless taxi with no occupants inside for driving in an oncoming traffic lane near Seventh Avenue and Osborn Road. 

Just after 11 am on June 19, a Phoenix police officer initiated a traffic stop on the Waymo, according to police dispatch records. The vehicle drove into oncoming traffic, ran a red light and “FREAKED OUT,” said the dispatch records, which are typed in all capital letters. -AZCentral

Waymo blamed the incident on “inconsistent construction signage” that forced the SUV into an oncoming lane of traffic. It added that the vehicle was “blocked from navigating back into the correct lane” for around 30 seconds.

“In an effort to clear the intersection, the Waymo vehicle proceeded forward a short distance and pulled into the next available parking lot,” Waymo said, noting the traffic incident lasted less than a minute. 

Two weeks ago, a Redditor posted an image of the traffic stop, questioning: “Saw a Waymo getting pulled over by cops this morning. How does it work?” 

Officers in the bodycam footage can be heard talking about the incident with Waymo staff in real time. 

While this incident might be seen as relatively minor, General Motors’ autonomous car unit, Cruise, has faced negative press over collisions in the past year.

Meanwhile, next month (August 8), Elon Musk is set to unveil the much-anticipated “Tesla Robotaxi.”

Is the world ready for robotaxis?

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